Clinical trial evaluates immunotherapy for head and neck cancer caused by HPV

Cancer immunotherapy

Cancer Immunotherapy
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Patients with head and neck cancer caused by HPV may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial at the NIH Clinical Center.

Christian S. Hinrichs, M.D., Senior Investigator in the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch, is leading a study of a T-cell immunotherapy for oropharyngeal cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). This therapy is neoadjuvant, meaning it is given before main treatments such surgery. The oropharynx is the area of the throat at the back of the mouth, including the soft palate, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils. T cells are the immune system’s main line of defense against infections. E7 TCR T cells have been modified in a lab to specifically target HPV-associated cancer cells. In this study, patients whose oropharyngeal cancer is borderline resectable or unresectable will have E7 TCR T cells injected directly into the primary tumor and affected lymph nodes. The goal of the study is to see if E7 TCR T cells given before the main treatment can reduce the risk of the disease coming back and to convert borderline or unresectable tumors to resectable.

Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT04044950
NCI Protocol ID: NCI-19-C-0130
Official Title: A Phase II Study of Neoadjuvant E7 TCR T Cell Immunotherapy for Borderline Resectable and Unresectable Stage I HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Cancer

The Center for Cancer Research is NCI’s internal cancer center, a publicly funded organization working to improve the lives of cancer patients by solving important, challenging and neglected problems in cancer research and patient care. Highly trained physician-scientists develop and carry out clinical trials to create the medicines of tomorrow treating patients at the world’s largest dedicated research hospital on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.   

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Summary Posted: Thu, 09/17/2020